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    Joint U.S.-Israel Exercise Juniper Cobra 2018 Officially Underway

    Juniper Cobra 2018

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Michael McNabb | HATZOR AIR FORCE BASE, Israel (Mar. 8, 2018) U.S. Air Force Third Air Force Commander...... read more read more

    TEL AVIV, Israel – The combined missile defense exercise known as Juniper Cobra 18 (JC18) held its opening ceremony March 4 in a remote airbase outside of Tel Aviv showcasing another step in the strategic relationship between the U.S. and Israel.

    JC18 is the ninth iteration of the biennial Juniper Cobra exercises, one of the largest joint military exercises between the U.S. and Israel, and is designed to improve the interoperability of U.S. and Israel Defense Force (IDF) defense systems.

    “JC18 is part of a longstanding U.S. and Israeli bilateral exercise agreement,” said the JC18 Combined Exercise Control Group Commander, Air Force Maj. Adam King. “It is designed to allow the U.S. and Israel to work together in a combined missile defense exercise to deter threats and potentially defend Israel. Technically speaking, JC18 is a computer aided exercise that is conducted through computer simulations. It is not limited to Ballistic Missile Defense, but also includes logistical resupply and foreign humanitarian assistance.”

    More than 1,500 USEUCOM personnel, as well as U.S. based units with their IDF partners, are currently on the ground in various location throughout Israel. Another 600 are scheduled to arrive for different training scenarios throughout the nearly three-week exercise that highlights the U.S. commitment to the defense of Israel.

    “We are excited to be a part of Juniper Cobra 2018, and we are looking forward to continue learning about the culture, the military forces here and how they operate,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Victor Longoria, a section leader with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines. “By working together, we are able to learn from each other and I think that’s a key to this exercise.”

    For IDF Army Capt. Eli Serfaty, working alongside the U.S. military holds extra significance. He was born in California and moved to Florida at the age of six. At age 13, his family decided to move to Israel after visiting on a sabbatical, where he has served in the IDF for the past five years.

    “Knowing the cooperation [the IDF] has with the U.S. impacts me personally,” said Serfaty. “I feel it is way to give back to my country now, Israel, and the country where I was born, the United States. The cooperation and working together makes us both stronger and united as one. It’s a huge opportunity to work together for a common goal.”

    JC18 was cooperatively planned over the last year and a half and, though driven by the overall situation in the Middle East, does not relate to any specific real-world events.

    “The exercise demonstrates the strategic and fundamental cooperation between the IDF and the U.S. Armed Forces,” said IDF Commander of the Aerial Defense Array, Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich. “In the coming weeks we will train together to face complex and challenging scenarios, which are relevant to the dynamic range of threats that we must be prepared to face."

    The commitment to bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Israel is shared by U.S. Air Force Third Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, who also serves as the commander for the deploying Joint Task Force-Israel.

    “The United States and Israel enjoy a strong and enduring military-to-military partnership built on a trust that has been developed over decades of cooperation," said Clark. "The Juniper Cobra exercises continue to strengthen this relationship, providing us with the opportunity to bolster interoperability and develop seamless integration with our Israeli partners."

    For more information about U.S. European Command visit http://www.eucom.mil/. For more information about Juniper Cobra 2018 visit https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/JuniperCobra.



    Date Taken: 03.08.2018
    Date Posted: 03.08.2018 10:00
    Story ID: 268555
    Location: IL

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